Four Gunners Star as England Edge Past Estonia
Enduring a weekend without Arsenal football can be rather frustrating but when you bear in mind that you’d get the chance to see some of the players don the kits of their national teams, you’d sit back relax and enjoy whatever they have to offer. I’d spent the entirety of my Sunday playing FIFA 15 (started just after the church service) but I took a mini-break to watch England play away to Estonia. With the European outfit not having any household name I could think about, I’d envisaged that the Three Lions would knock a hatful of goals past them.
From an Arsenal perspective, there were starts for Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Calum Chambers while Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had to make do with a place on the bench. Liverpool hotshot, Raheem Sterling, was also given a breather as the manager stated that he was ‘tired’. Wayne Rooney was on the spotlight following his act of sheer stupidity in the West Ham and in his absence, his teammates did just fine as they had enough in the tank to beat Everton.
While I expected England to dominate the game, it was the home team that almost drew first blood when Fabian Delph was robbed off possession which allowed Sergei Zenjov to blast his effort that was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Henri Anier fired his effort over. England’s first sniff at goal arrived when Jordan Henderson latched on to Leighton Baines’ dead ball but the Estonia defense was alert to the danger he posed. England continued to grow in confidence as Rooney smashed a first-time shot over with a dipping cross from the left. Rooney then managed to fashion a chance for Delph but his finishing was wayward.
Rooney was a growing influence in the game and he did well to create a chance for Welbeck that was fired across the goalmouth but the ball evaded an onrushing Adam Lallana. Delph then hauled a cross for Rooney but he couldn’t guide his header goalwards. There was a concern for Arsenal fans when Chambers suffered a late tackle from Zenjov but at the end of the first half, Henderson mustered a long range drive that was easy pickings for the goalie.
England received a boost early in the second half when Ragnar Klavan, the Estonia skipper, foolishly fouled Delph to receive his marching orders from a second bookable offense. Rooney blasted the resulting free kick over the bar. The first substitution was made as Roy Hodgson clearly wanted to take numerical advantage by bringing on the Ox for a jaded Delph. Shortly afterwards, Sterling came on for Henderson. Both subs combined almost immediately to great effect with the resulting corner headed over by Gary Cahill. The Ox has forged an understanding with Chambers at club level and they almost replicated the feat for England but the winger made a mess of Chambers’ good cross.
With 17 minutes to go, Rooney broke the deadlock with a superb free kick that left the keeper no chance in Hell to save the ball.
There was another concern as Danny Welbeck picked up a ‘knock’ before he was replaced by Rickie Lambert. I hope it’s not serious though but I was scared as he walked straight to the dressing room following his substitution. The game eased off towards the end, which ensured that England are currently on top of Group E.
With the interlull over for the English Gunners, the Arsenal medical team would have to access Chambers and Welbeck that picked up knocks in the game and I hope that they’d be fine. Wilshere had another combative outing and the Ox showed glimpses of his quality.
Glad that’s over with. Work beckons.
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